Microsoft unveils smaller, cheaper Surface tablet

Microsoft Surface flagship in Taipei

Microsoft Surface flagship in Taipei

Microsoft is about to lower the entry point to the Surface family with a new product called the Surface Go. The person, whose comments were earlier reported on by TechRadar, added that the tablet would ship with a 10-inch screen and have an 1,800-by-1,200-pixel resolution. Each variant will be powered by a dual-core Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y processor.

This somewhat measly CPU will come paired with 4GB or 6GB RAM, a choice of 64GB eMMC or 128G SSD storage.

Surface Go will run versions of Windows 10 and Office apps.

The includes the new Alcantara Surface Keyboard covers, which bring the soft (and hard to keep clean) material based keyboards from the Surface Laptop to the tablet line. The Surface Go promises to offer the full blown Surface experience on a budget. Despite these claims from Microsoft, the Surface Go inherits the same encumbrances to usability as have been endemic to the Surface product line.

In the coming weeks, Surface Go will be available for pre-order in Japan, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and in China with more markets to follow.

Surface Go will be released August 2, and an LTE version will follow later this year, Microsoft's Chief Product Officer Panos Panay wrote in a blog post. This can be disabled for free, likewise, commercial SKUs with Windows 10 Pro can be configured to enable S Mode for free.

Better yet, Microsoft has managed to deliver full-sized keys (now with more pronounced bowled edges) within such a small amount of space, and has included a glass trackpad that's larger in depth than that of the Surface Pro. Microsoft's custom Surface Connector is still there, which essentially allows users to connect to a desktop dock of the device, along with charging the hybrid computer. There will be a black polyurethane Type Cover and a Signature Type Cover that comes in Alcantara, the suede-like material Microsoft has used for its keyboards and on the Surface Laptop in the past.

Getting such a small device the power to run a full version of Windows took some fine tuning, said Pete Kyriacou, Microsoft's program manager for the Surface.

Surface Go also has the ports you need, including Surface Connect for charging and docking; USB-C 3.1 for data, video, and charging; a headphone jack; and a MicroSD card reader for storage expansion. We've seen the Surface Go render and manipulate 3D imagery in a biology studies app with nary a stutter. But while the Surface Go is indeed pocketable, it only has one screen, meaning that this ain't it.

Rumors have been swirling that Microsoft is planning a new tablet launch this summer. An extra $50 upgrades to Windows 10 Pro, and an extra $150 upgrades to 8GB RAM and a 128GB SSD.

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